Archive for March, 2011

21 March 2011 by megan@spoon

Justin’s Letter, Spring 2011

American Spoon’s Spring catalog should arrive at your home sometime this week, and because so many of our customers tell us how much they love reading each season’s letter from Justin, we thought we’d share this Spring’s letter here. Enjoy!

Greetings from Northern Michigan.

After a winter of forgetting summer’s pleasures, spring in our Northern Fruitlands is a time for remembering. The first clues are faint and few: a patch of last year’s grass rises from beneath the snow drifts glistening like spun gold, a pool of water that reflects the sky forms on the ice of Little Traverse Bay. The first morning of mild breezes holds the subtle scents of waking soil and a sip of the sweet sap dripping from the maples as it runs up from thawing roots stirs something akin to happiness.

 

A drive on a mid May afternoon through the Northern Fruitlands from Charlevoix to Northport is a joy ride among panoramic proofs that nothing has been lost or forgotten under the snow. Up on the hilltops of the lake view farms the old apricots trees erupt first risking their red and white flowers that show from a distance as veils of the palest pink. On the airy heights just below, the voluptuous white blooms of sweet cherries soon appear along glistening burgundy limbs followed everywhere by abundant tarts bursting pristine popcorn on charcoal drawn branches against the greening hills. Just as the cherry petals begin to fall, the peach orchards turn comes, their shocking salmon flowers and tawny branches flaming against the still cool skies. And finally, with the warmth moving down into the valleys the gorgeous apple blossoms open on muscular trees of every age and shape. The land remembers all; the trees still know their parts. Spring has come at last and all the treasured fruits of summer are sure to follow.

We look forward to seeing you in our stores again in the months ahead, and on your next visit to Petoskey take time to stroll down East Lake Street to the Bear River. A short hike along its banks reveals how our legendary river has been revitalized with footpaths, a new pedestrian bridge and a mile of cascading white water rapids perfect for river kayaks. In the meantime, please let us know how you like our newly-redesigned catalog, in which we strive to honor the crucial connections among our dedicated local growers, the artisans in our kitchen, and you our customers. Here is the fruit of our land, the work of our hands, may it bring you pleasure! 

 

 

Justin Rashid
President & Co-founder

4 March 2011 by megan@spoon

Jam, Granola & Yogurt Parfait

Each year, as the snow begins to melt and the ground begins to thaw, we turn our thoughts to the American Spoon Café and begin refining the menu. These days, Chef Chris Dettmer divides his time between new product development and menu development, and his latest creation is this lovely jam, granola and yogurt parfait.

It starts with our terrific homemade granola, sweetened with Michigan Maple Syrup and studded with Dried Red Tart Cherries. It’s rich and hefty and wholesome — just the way granola should be — and it’s a delicious snack all by itself.

For breakfast, we layer this granola with our intensely fruity preserves or Fruit Perfect and a generous scoop of thick Greek yogurt. The resulting parfait, served in a jar, is not only pretty but eminently edible. The sweet fruitiness of the preserves and the warm maple notes of the toasted granola contrast beautifully with the creamy tang of the yogurt. It’s rich and filling but not heavy, sweet but not cloying, creamy but not fatty — in short:  it’s perfect. You’ll be seeing a lot of this parfait at the Café this summer, but in the meantime, perfection is as close as your own kitchen. Bake up a batch of granola, open a container of yogurt, dip into a jar of preserves, and daydream about a warm, sunny spot next to the grassy greenness of Petoskey’s beloved Pennsylvania Park.

Jam, Granola & Yogurt Parfait
printable recipe

For the Granola:
(makes about 10 ¾-cup servings)
printable recipe

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup rolled barley
1 cup pepitas
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened coconut
¼  cup brown sugar
1½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup  Michigan Maple Syrup Add to Cart
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup American Spoon® Dried Red Tart Cherries Add to Cart
¼  cup American Spoon® Dried Cranberries Add to Cart

Heat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except dried fruit. Spread evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes, until granola is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Stir in dried fruit. Store in airtight container.

For the Parfait:
(serves 1)

4 Tbsp. of your favorite American Spoon® Preserves or Fruit Perfect® 
6 oz. Greek yogurt
¾ cup Maple Granola

Spoon 2 Tbsp. preserves into the bottom of a 12 oz. jar or cereal bowl. Sprinkle half the granola over preserves and top with yogurt. Spoon remaining 2 Tbsp. preserves over yogurt and top with remaining granola to serve.

2 March 2011 by megan@spoon

Wordless Wednesday: Inside Spoon